A city court has let off a 21-year-old man, accused of raping a minor girl, as she had "willingly" eloped with him.
Acquitting Delhi resident Mohammad Mujibur Rehman of charges of raping the girl, additional sessions judge Madhu Jain said, "From the testimony of the prosecution witnesses (girl and her mother), it stands proved that the girl was more than 16 years of age and she herself willingly went with the accused."
The court, however, convicted him of kidnapping the girl and sentenced him to nine months in jail, already undergone by him during the trial of the case.
The police arrested Rehman in October 2011 on a complaint lodged by the victim's mother, alleging that he had kidnapped and raped her daughter.
The girl, who belongs to a different religion, in her deposition before the court said that she had willingly gone with Rehman.
"She stated that she was having a love affair with the accused. She wanted to marry him, but he showed reluctance due to difference in their religions and she being a minor," the court added.
Taking notice of Rehman's young age, the court said, "He is aged around 21 years and if sent to judicial custody, his whole life and career would be ruined."